In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Winter's Battle

A couple of weeks ago Dan came over for a game. His Viking/Prussian host is based for the winter so he brought his white fleece and we had a winter battle using my post Christmas sale trees. He put together a 10 unit army which fit very nicely into the Hail Caesar Army Lists volume 2 list for Vikings. He had 1 unit of huscarls as bodyguard to his warlord, 2 units of hirdmen, 5 units of bondi and 2 units of bondi archers. I fielded my early feudal/Norman/First Crusade army and used the Norman army list and also fielded 10 units. 2 knights, 2 mounted retainers/serjeants, 2 heavy infantry, 3 medium infantry and 1 medium archer. Units were 16 foot or 8 mounted.

I'll let one of the monks tell the tale:

From the Chronicles of the Monk Owsric

In the Year of Our Lord 1092 , during the first week of Advent, Fulk the Bastard, enemy of God, brought a host of Norsemen into the Realm. With fire and sword these sea wolves sacked the Monastery of St. Froebenius and carried off much treasure. They also captured the blessed Abbot Adhelbert to hold him for ransom.
An early snow fell but Count Raymond, friend of the Church and her children, called out his vassals to pursue the Norsemen and rescue the Abbot. The Red Knight, who was staying at the Count's castle for the Feast of Christmas, being a cavalier above reproach and champion of the tourney rode out with his liege and host. Henry the Lion also rode out from his neighbouring castle bringing many vassals with him.
By the village of Lapins dans l'Eau the Count caught up to the Seawolves as they were fording a river.
Norman left wing
The Count's army deploys
Henry the Lion commanded the chivalry on the left and the Red Knight commanded the chivalry on the right. The good Count commanded the infantry in the center.
Viking right wing
The Vikings deploy

Viking objectives
View of Viking center with Abbot and loot

My new village in it's first game!
With a cry of "For God, St. Frobenius and Mantovia!" the Count's army surged forward.
opening moves
Opening moves- the Count's army advances
Henry and the Count attacked the rear of the Viking host while the Red Knight kept the rest of the Vikings from recrossing the river.
opening moves 2

Arrows hissed and shield walls crashed together. Axes split helmets and shields. Spears impaled livers and the snow was turned red.

first break test!
First clash and first break test. Lost by only figure too!
The levies from Hameau de Porc trembled at the Norse fury and ran. Count Raymond cried out "For the love of Christ, wilst thou leave me to fight the Seawolves on my own?" and rallied his men to close the breach in the line.
reaction to first break test
We have a Jester's Cap for when things go that badly. You can tell I'm pleased!

Shouting his Warcry, Henry the Lion's squadrons surged up the snowy slope to smash the Vikings before them, trampling many beneath their steeds. Meanwhile the Count's footmen smashed again and again into the Norse shieldwalls to finally break them.

But in his moment of triumph, a Norse spear struck the Lion, felling him from the saddle and putting his division into disarray and halting their pursuit of the shattered Seawolves.
Viking left gets overrun
Overrunning the Viking right wing
Seeing the Vikings cross the river to aid their rearguard, the Red Knight charged into the shieldwall aiming for the Black Raven banner of the Viking Warlord, Danling Hutterskal the Red Axe. The Viking horde, like locusts swarmed around the flowers of Mantovian chivalry and cut them down.
death of the Norman right wing
Death of the Mantovian right wing!
Danling Red-Axe then spake to the Good Count "Enough! Enough of our shield brothers now sit in the halls of our ancestors. Take your man of God, for his sermons annoy me and we will return to our ships and our hearths and trouble you no more."

Count Raymond then spake "Leave my folk in peace. No farm nor hayrick shall be fired. You may buy your provisions with the gold you have taken and go."
end game Norman left wing

The Seawolves then left Mantovia and the folk had peace for Christmas.
So Dan and I fought each other to a bloody nail biting conclusion. Both armies were battered and in bad positions relative to the other so we figured they would negotiate a truce. It was nice for both of us to get our respective armies out again.

My army is mostly Old Glory Normans and First Crusade with some Gripping Beast and a few Ral Partha. Dan's army is meant to be Prussians to fight his Teutonic Knights, but they work as Vikings too. He's been building it for years so it is a melange of manufacturers.

I was quite pleased with how good a game we got using Hail Caesar for this era and we both felt the lists worked quite well giving nice little armies that reflected our opinions about how the historical armies should have looked.

Now I need to go inventory what other Norman figures I have in my lead pile before I'm tempted to buy some of Conquest Game's new plastic Norman foot!

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